police officer leaning into vehicle speaking to driver

@thesmoothtoad_/TikTok

‘I don’t gang bang, sir. I’m Jewish‘: Cop doesn’t believe Black man has a Jewish tattoo, accuses him of being a ‘Gangster Disciple’

'You're not Jewish; you're a Gangster Disciple.'

 

Kahron Spearman

Internet Culture

Published Nov 17, 2021   Updated Nov 17, 2021, 11:01 am CST

viral TikTok shows a cop accusing a Black man of being a part of Gangster Disciples all because of a tattoo he has. The man tells the cop he is Jewish and that his tattoo is related to his religion.

@thesmoothtoad_ posted the footage of a traffic stop in Georgia. A Black driver and an officer are mid-conversation when the video starts. The clip has been viewed 7 million times. The caption reads: “Pigs telling People what Religion they are now.”

The officer asks, “So what are you? A Gangster Disciple?”

“I don’t gang-bang, sir,” the driver says. 

“That says differently,” responds the officer, who points at an unseen tattoo on the driver. Gangster Disciples, a street and prison gang, started in Chicago’s southside in 1965. The dominant symbol of the gang is reportedly the six-pointed Star of David, borrowing from Jewish religious symbolism. The driver maintains that he’s not in a gang.

“I’m Jewish, bro,” he says.

The officer pauses at the claim. The driver then challenges the officer: “Tell me I’m not.”

“You’re not Jewish; you’re a Gangster Disciple,” the officer says. “Jewish people don’t get tattoos because it’s against their religion, genius.”

The officer’s position is based on a longtime rabbinical objection to tattoos tracing back to Leviticus 19.28, which asserts: “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.” However, the contention has been widely debated. It is also possible the driver connects himself with Black Hebrew Israelites, groups of Black Americans who claim to be the true descendants of ancient Israelites but aren’t claimed by the mainstream Jewish community.

“I’m different,” the driver says. An extended cut of the video shows that the officer eventually lets the driver go, only telling him to “get a Georgia license.”

The Daily Dot reached out to @thesmoothtoad_ for comment.


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*First Published: Nov 17, 2021, 10:54 am CST